Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Sakamichi no Apollon" trailer

This looks kind of awesome.  Reading about who is behind this upcoming series makes me want to watch it.  Anime set in the 60's about jazz?  Airing April 2012 on noitaminA time slot.  Please stream this somebody.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter Anime Season 2012

The new season started recently so I am trying the ones that sound interesting.  So far I've seen the first episodes of the following:
Rinne no Lagrange:  I watched it a few days ago and can't really remember much about it except that it features a spunky high school girl who has to pilot a robot.  Nice art.  A bit too much fanservice.  Not sure if will continue.
Natsume Yujincho Shi:  It's a given that I'll be watching this show.  Just love cute Nyanko-sensei and kind Natsume.  Almost every show makes me tear up.  Seriously.
Another:  Something in the horror genre which I really don't watch.  The heavy, secretive, and expectant atmosphere is done really well though (quick shots of various dismembered gothic dolls, weird long pauses in dialog and action.)  Will give it a try.
Listen to Me Girls, I'm Your Father!:  I am ashamed to admit I have watched the first episode.  It's full of all possible harem cliches including sort of sickening fanservice moments with stepsisters.  Panders to moe otaku and will probably get licensed.  I'm not going to continue.
Daily Lives of High School Boys:  Art is terrible, but the humor is great.  LOL moments.  Last time I LOL'd from watching anime was Squid Girl.
Chihayafuru:  Will continue to watch this lovely show.  A suspenseful tournament show with a lot of heart.
New Prince of Tennis:  Felt like watching the old Prince of Tennis of which I watched only a few episodes.  Don't think will continue.
Recorder to Randsell:  Why was this 3 minute anime even made?  Half of it is the OP and ED and it's a one-note joke.  Since it's only 3 minutes to watch, I'll probably watch it anyway.
Inu X Boku SS:  Attractive art, surprising twist at the end, and a Sebastian-esque butler who will kiss his masters' feet.  Will try a few episodes.
Thermae Romae:  A weird flash animated show that's has good art and okay humor.  The subject is so strange (ancient Roman bathhouse designer visits modern Japanese bathhouse) that I'll probably continue to watch it.
Senki Zeshou Symphogear:  What the F did I just watch?  J-pop saves the world.  Excellent animation, appealing characters, nice action pacing made this a surprisingly enjoyable first episode.  Well executed, but will the ridiculous plot hold up?  Made no sense but will continue to watch.  Will probably get licensed since if features magical-girls and fight scenes.
Nisemonogatari:  Never watched Bakemonogatari which leaves me a bit lost.  The dialogue reminds me of Arakawa Under the Bridge or Natsu no Arashi.  Apparently all of these shows are works of Akiyuki Shinbo.  I hardly ever finish any of his shows, so we'll see how long I can keep watching.  Intriguing art.
Moretsu Space Pirates:  Started watching with zero expectations since the other name for this is Bodacious Space Pirates.  I was pleasantly surprised.   It's a shonen show that isn't embarrassing to watch.  Sure the lead character is in a high school girl's uniform most of the time (aren't they all? haha), but at least no character is leering at her (so far).  The tone is just right.
Brave-10:  A sengoku show with samurai.  I don't think I'm into that.  At least all the samurai are pretty boys.
After reading over all the shows I have watched, I have concluded I need to leave the house more often.  Also, that Natusume Yujinchou and Chihayafuru are the must-sees.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Now and Then, Here and There"

I recently finished watching "Now and Then, Here and There" on DVD.  I recalled that the anime received good reviews and decided to give it a try, not really knowing what the story was about.  I was blown away by the depiction of violence in war.  Like in most anime, the main characters are children, which makes this war story more disturbing.  It starts off like a typical anime, with the protagonist Shu dealing with adolescent first love.  But he unexpectedly meets Lalaru, a girl who is suddenly pursued by giant mechanical snake-like machines.  Shu tries to save her and is transported to a world where water is the most important commodity and is a key element in a maniac king's plan to take over the world.  Hamdo, the maniac king, is chasing Lalaru who has the (unexplained) power to create water with her pendant.  Shu spends the whole anime trying to save Lalaru from Hamdo and in the process gets tortured, beaten, and drafted into Hamdo's army of kidnapped children.  Shu meets Sara who was abducted because she was mistaken as Lalaru.    Her story of survival is one that I would never believe would be portrayed in an anime.  Shu also meets Nabuca, a natural leader in a company of soldier children.  His arc is a sad one as well.  The only "good" person in this dystopia is Sis who takes in war orphans.  Shu is totally optimistic throughout the whole show, even after getting beaten up about a million times.  It's annoying sometimes, but still admirable.  His sense of morality never wavers, although everyone else's sense of morality is totally whacked in this world, except for the end.  The ending is a bit frustrating since it's all solved in a magical way by Lalaru that maybe could have happened earlier.  I guess Lalaru deciding to finally use her power at the end shows Lalaru's emotional growth. The animation is extremely well done and the music is beautiful.  Watching this reminded me of watching "Grave of the Fireflies"...extremely depressing, but compelling and touching.  I couldn't stop watching it except for when I had to go to bed and then finished it the next day.  The music is really good in this show too.  If you want to watch a mature anime drama, this is it.